On a tiny, remote island in the Pacific Ocean, a wild and ragged man stumbles ashore. Then as rescuers subsequently cluster around him, it’s clear that he’s been at sea for a very long time. However, as José Salvador Alvarenga’s story begins to unfold, few can believe the epic journey that’s taken him some 6,700 miles from home.
On November 17, 2012, José Alvarenga was preparing to leave the village of Costa Azul in Chiapas, Mexico, for a fishing trip. Usually, his friend Ray Perez went with him on such expeditions, but that day Perez was unable to make it. Instead, then, Alvarenga asked a 22-year-old local soccer player, Ezequiel Córdoba, to go in Perez’s place.